By Lucas Tala DA councillor at Sekhukhune District Municipality:
Today the DA has submitted a petition to the Mayor of Sekhukhune District Municipality, David Magabe, with hundreds of signatures of residents affected by the abandoned R9 million toilet project at Saaiplaas village, ward 16 under Elias Motsoaledi Municipality.
These are people who have no access to adequate sanitation because Sekhukhune has abandoned them.
The municipality allocated R9 million and appointed a contractor to build over 2457 toilets in Saaiplaas village between November and March 2014, but after only half were built, the contractor vanished.
The contactor has managed to complete only 1335 before leaving the site, with an estimated 1122 incomplete toilets.
The contractor excavated some holes while other toilets are abandoned as just foundations. The DA has discovered that many children are playing in the excavated hole and foundations risking their lives.
The quality of the complete toilets is also questionable as some of them are starting to crack.
This project left more than 150 local workers stranded waiting for the contractor to come back and continue with their daily jobs. It is unacceptable for the municipality to spend millions on a project without measures in place to monitor the contractor’s work.
The DA wants Mayor Magabe to probe this toilet project, and present facts to council on how this project was allowed to fail – but in the interim, the Mayor must ensure that holes in the ground are covered and that children cannot fall into sewage cavities.
The contractor must either come back and finish this shoddy work with immediate effect, or must pay back every cent of municipal money wasted.